March 11 2017
The next time Emma Watson, the United Nations women goodwill ambassador, gives a speech at the UN, I’d like her to try an experiment. Ask the folks gathered there for a show of hands: How many of them would like to see your breasts?
Now, look around. Do you notice that almost all of the hands raised belong to men? Yes, that’s right.
When women decide to remove their shirts, the people who enjoy it most are men. And, by the way, Emma, you might want to wait till the end of your speech to do this. Because, here’s the thing: Once you take off your shirt, men do not pay attention to anything you’re saying.
It is beyond me how any woman can get to the age of 24 without gathering these salient pieces of information, but here we are.
Earlier this week, Watson appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair, baring all but her nipples.
The article, which was a story about how Watson came into her own as a feminist — “I used to be scared of words like ‘feminism,’ ‘patriarchy,’ ‘imperialist.’ But I’m not anymore,” she said — was largely ignored. Which is not surprising. When you lead with your boobs, it is hard for people to take you seriously as an advocate for women’s rights.
But when critics noted that fact, Watson got upset. In response, she explained that feminism “is about giving women choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with. It’s about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality. I really don’t know what my tits have to do with it.”
Really? Then why put them on the cover? Of course, there is nothing wrong with getting naked and celebrating the human form. Looking at beautiful bodies is delightful for both men and women. But it shouldn’t be confused with an act of liberation that is rooted in feminism.
And yet, these days, lots of celebrities like to demonstrate how “empowered” they are as feminists by taking off their clothes.
Beyoncé has writhed provocatively under a sign that says “FEMINIST” during her shows. And don’t even get me started on the feminist protesters, who have decided that the best way to get attention for their cause is by taking their shirts off and writing obscenities on their skin.
According to the defenders of this disrobing, it shouldn’t matter who is watching. As a columnist for E! News asked, “What happened to the importance of being comfortable in your own skin? . . . What happened to a woman having confidence in her choices and being the only judge that matters when it comes to what she does or doesn’t share with the public?”
Or as Ratajkowski writes, “It’s not our responsibility to change the way we are seen — it’s society’s responsibility to change the way it sees us.”
Keep us posted on that one, Emily.
The geniuses leading the feminist movement are not helping. If feminists are meant to celebrate “every woman’s choice” then we have to celebrate literally everything.
Which is why many feminists are good with plural marriage, legalized prostitution, “Fifty Shades of Grey” and plenty of other cultural markers that also just happen to make Neanderthal men happy.
Apparently, even Watson herself used to worry about whether all of this stripping was such a great idea, and whether it wasn’t just the teensiest bit exploitative.
Asked about Beyoncé’s 2014 self-titled album, Watson explained, “I was really conflicted . . . On the one hand she is putting herself in a category of a feminist, this very strong woman ? and she has that beautiful speech by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in one of her songs? but then the camera, it felt very male, such a male voyeuristic experience of her . . .”
But now, as Watson has decided, these are all valid choices. And she has the full support of the movement behind her.
“Feminists can wear anything they f–king want,” Gloria Steinem recently announced, regarding the Watson controversy. People “have an incomplete idea of who [feminists] are.”
Watson told her critics that she found the reaction to the whole episode “very confusing.”
Lady, join the club.